Tag Archives: minidress

Recon: The Hawaiian Sundress

30 Apr

I’m still slogging away on my Bombshell dress – although right now it appears to be more of a bed than anything:
Current Bombshell state

More on that later! Today, we will talk about my newest recon.

I actually started plotting the making of this dress on Friday afternoon – I found this sweet Hawaiian maxi dress and I spent the rest of the afternoon obsessing over how to make my own. My drive home from work ended taking A FUCKING HOUR AND A HALF (I drive about 5 miles & it usually takes 15-20 minutes – tops! 25 minutes is long enough to make me feel desperate, no lie) – thanks, Country Music Marathon! – so I had plenty of time to plan the making of my new dress. I realized the head start was actually hanging in my closet.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - before
If you’re feeling underwhelmed, well, so was I. I picked this dress up at the thrift store last summer – I loved the print, and it’s rayon which is my faaaavorite fiber to wear in the summer. Also, it was $2. Unfortunately, it’s a big shapeless muumuu. I thought I could cinch it with a belt and be done with it, but belting that much fabric leaves some weird gathers & poof, so this was a dress reserved for hanging around the house.

This was a REALLY easy (and fast!) recon – I sewed a strip of wide elastic at the waistline, cut 6″ off the hem & sewed that to the elastic neckline. Done and done!

Hawaiian Dress Recon
The original inspiration is sleeveless, but I actually like the extra ruffle the sleeves give, so they stay… for now.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
It is hemmed a little short – you can’t tell from these pictures, since I have the tripod angled, but I could definitely use an extra inch. Although I did wear this to shop the flea market with my mom on Saturday & she never mentioned the length (or lack thereof), so maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
I got a LOT of compliments on this dress! Probably more than I’ve ever received for any of my clothing – funny! It seemed like every other person I ran into had something nice to say about it :)

Hawaiian Dress Recon - no belt
Oh, and thanks to the elastic waistband – it looks great without a belt! This will be extremely important once the rest summer heat+humidity hits :)

Some construction notes…
Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, inside
The elastic waistband was really easy to insert – I measured the elastic around my waist, and then sewed it to the middle of the dress (try it on first to check the placement), giving the elastic a good stretch while I sewed it on. I just used a straight stitch, since it’s not a really high-stress area.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, outside
From the front – it gathered up nicely, I think!

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, inside
To make the ruffled collar, I sewed cut-off dress bottom (hem intact!) to the inside of the dress, wrong side up. Again, I stretched it as I sewed so it would gather up.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, outside
Then just flip the ruffle of the outside, hiding the seams.

The hem is finished with a small rolled hem. No, I didn’t take a picture. I’m sure you can use your imagination ;)

Hawaiian Dress Recon
And that’s it! Easy, breezy, beautiful… err, this’ll be great for Me-Made-May :)

As for the flea market… well, the pickings were pretty slim this go-round :( I did meet two vendors who said they have loads of fabric they need to sell off, so I gave them my contact information and hopefully I can spend the money I didn’t spend at the flea market on their fabric :) Haha!

I did pick up this pattern… there’s not a listed manufacturer anywhere, just the pattern number.
Pattern 8452
I love the button placket.

Pattern 8452
It’s undated, but based on the fact that it’s unprinted & it has THIS across the top of the (sparse)instructions, I reckon it’s from the war era :)

I also bought two pieces of stretchy fabric, although they were from the thrift store, not the flea.
Floral stretch fabric
Probably going to save this one for winter, it’s kind of… velvety? I like how loud it is, though. And yes, my cat is modeling because she refused to get off the table.

Stripey poly stretch fabric
This is polyester, but I just love those 70s stripes!

Bombshell list
The Bombshell is making excellent progress – and it still fits! YAY!

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Completed: Floral Minidress

5 Apr

sundress

I know I have this labeled as a “sundress,” but we’re just gonna go with minidress because… this shit is itty-bitty.

I used McCall’s 2185 to make this up. The fabric is some class of sheer cotton that has the appearance of printed cheesecloth… it’s really interesting. It was actually given to me by the same friend who provided me with that awesome slinky cheetah print – I know you are all totally jealous of this friendship right now (did I mention she is also my Life Partner? Truth.), I’m kind of jealous of myself tbh ;). Anyway, the fabric is super duper see-through so I had to underline the whole thing to keep things (somewhat)modest. I used batiste, and I’m actually kind of pissed right now because I’m not 100% thrilled with the finished dress and woe is me, that was most of what was left of my batiste :( BOO.

Floral Minidress

Anyway, the pattern was fairly easy to work with. It’s a size bigger than what I have been using lately (34 bust instead of my usual 32 bust), so I did pull in the seams an extra 1/2″ or so at the waist because the original look was pretty sack-like and extremely unflattering. Interestingly, the seams at the hip were WAY too tight – despite the fact that this is supposed to be an A-line dress! – and I had to skimp by on 1/4″ seams to make room for my legs. So weird. It’s still not flared enough, but ehh can’t do anything about that.

I also ran out of batiste on the length-wise so the hem is pretty fiddly. I had a good 4″ or so of dress fabric that was not underlined and it looked really awful. I ended up putting a facing of sorts at the hem, using bleached muslin (because I’m not wasting anymore batiste on this dress!), and then flipped it up to meet where the underlining ends. I had to hem the dress twice, but it works I guess. I considered adding a line of ribbon around the bottom of the dress to cover the seams, but they’re not terribly noticeable and I honestly don’t care about this dress anymore anyway. It’ll be good for puttering around the house on weekends – nice and cool for summer – but that’s about it. It’s so short!!

Floral Minidress

There was supposed to be a self-fabric belt, which I planned on making, but I was having major problems turning it right-side out – the flimsy fabric kept pulling past the sew-in interfacing & I ended up ripping a giant hole in it, ahem, mostly on purpose because I was angry and I wanted to destroy something. Whatever, belt, no one wanted you anyway! I like this turquoise belt better anyway. Isn’t it awesome? God, this belt is so awesome.

Floral Minidress
You may notice that I did not photoshop my roots in these pictures. Today I just can’t be arsed to care. Any they kind of look like shitty highlights, anyway lol.

Floral Minidress
I did photoshop a piece of trash out of the background though. Photoshop is awesome!

Floral Minidress

Floral Minidress

Floral Minidress
I know the facing isn’t even at the top of the zipper… NO CARE.

Floral Minidress
Underlining! And check out the zipper -

Floral Minidress
Have you ever seen a metal invisible zipper? I hadn’t!
It’s a little too thick for my invisible zipper foot, though, so as you can see, it’s not exactly invisible. Still kinda cool, though :)

Oh, here it is without the belt
Floral Minidress
Boooooo

Floral Minidress
I guess I can muster up a smile, though.

Kinda bummed that I’m not OMGWTFBBQ about this dress, but ehh life goes on. I think it looks better in the pictures than it does in real life, to be honest :) I still had a metric shit ton of this fabric (the original length I was given was over 7 yards and I’d be shocked if I used 1.5 yards on this dress), so I definitely want to make something else with it. I’m thinking the Chantilly. Thoughts?

Floral Minidress

I also just realized my birthday is in like a month and a half. Ack! Better get started on my Bombshell Birthday Dress :D

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